The laboratory is led by Dr Sonia Corrêa and is primarily focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the hippocampus.

The hippocampus is an area of the brain that is required for the formation and retrieval of various types of memory and the loss of hippocampal function causes memory impairment and reduced cognitive ability. The fundamental role the hippocampus plays in memory formation has led to extensive investigation of the mechanisms by which the synapses of the hippocampus change, in order to understand the neurophysiology that underpins its function. These processes are forms of synaptic plasticity and include long-term increases in synaptic strength, termed long-term potentiation (LTP), and long-term decreases in synaptic strength, named long-term depression (LTD). These processes can be induced in many areas of the brain, but are extensively studied in the CA1 region of the hippocampus where they are thought to underlie spatial learning and memory.

Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity will provide insights into normal and abnormal functioning of the brain and may find novel therapeutic targets to slow cognitive decline associated with ageing and neurodegenerative diseases.

We currently have two main research interests:

  • The impact of the p38 MK2 cascade in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory and its implication in Alzheimers disease.
  • The mechanism by which induction of activity dependent immediate early genes regulates trafficking of AMPAR and its implication in learning and memory.

For more detailed information about our current research please visit Research Projects.